We here present a collection of verse written by Doniphan County writers, selected from the files of the county papers. Many of the writers here represented are natives of the county. Others have had their birth in the different states, and a few were born in foreign lands, but all have resided here, and the selections presented were inspired and written in Doniphan County.
SQUEAKS FROM THE SORGHUM WELL.
As Martin was grinding some sorghum one day,
The mill got to squeaking and thus seemed to say:
Above sorghum, there's that to which man shoud aspire;
Does your heart never throb with some lofty desire?
Ri tu ral, lal lu ral, ri tu ral, lal Ia.
The commerce in sorghum's declining you know;
I detected your darkies remarking today
"A feather bed's good, if they had time to sleep;
"So Martin you'd better be changing your gait;
"The hypocrite business is pretty good pay;
"If men have besmeared you - embrace them and kiss;
"Take contracts to work for the great public cause;
"Be upright - whenever it brings you the pelf,
As Martin thus heard, did his wonder increase,
"Thence forward the grinding was dismally low;
Men ransacked the markets and thought it so queer
"Years came and years went, as the years always do,
I saw him once more after seasons had rolled,
"The last end of pea-time - the skin of the snail
"A tow-linen shirt that is minus a tail -
"And as he trudged onward thus did he complain:
"Whenever you see a great hog of a man,
On the high prairie, October, 21, 1872.
DID YOU EVER!
Did you ever take a ramble through the wood,
With the little girl you wanted by your side?
Did you ever feel so happy or so good?
Are her kisses any sweeter as your bride?
Did you ever to the orchard go to spark,
Did you ever keep your lady out too late,
Did her father ever catch her on your knee,
Did you ever fondly kiss her curley hair?
Did you ever find her in a little pout?
When your sweetheart had a package to be brought,
We're just as glad as we can be,
That Kansas is not Tennessee,
Or any other sovereign State,
No matter whether small or great,
Because we love her even more
Than man has loved his State before;
And if from her we choose to roam,
We'll ever think of her as home;
We blow our country's bugle horn,
And bless the day our State was born.
The boundless prairies, all our own,
It is the state for you and me,
We welcome all to this, our home -
DEATH OF THE OLD YEAR.
I walked in the moonlight's shimmering ray,
To list what the old year had to say;
To hear some tale of deep distress,
Of hearts that beat in joyousness.
But the silence of night was scarcely broke.
Dost hear in the grove the wind's low sigh,
Tiny flowers that peeped out one by one,
The earth may be robed in her richest dress,
Dost see yon river? Ice-bound and still;
THE GROUND HOG.
It's O, for the times of our fathers;
And O, for the good old days,
Ere the up-start prophets of weather
Came with their new fangled ways;
When the lowly and humble ground-hog
That balances the season's fate,
Knew naught of the puzzle of science,
But knew how to watch and wait.
In his burrow in woodland hillside,
Then will we not learn from the ground hog
M. E. CHURCH DEDICATION.
Cradled, O, God within thy hand,
As suppliants we before Thee stand,
To do thy will,
Obedient to command of old,
Uprose this house thy name to hold!
It will thy glory fill!
Upon thy loving heart, oh, trace
Bless those that bade these walls arise,
THE OLD MAID.
She gave her life to love. She never knew
What other women give their all to gain.
Others were fickle. She was passing true,
She gave pure love, and faith without a stain.
She never married. Suitors came and went:
Think you her life was wasted? Vale and hill
Her heart was full of sweetness till the end.
TO THE RIVER.
River, sad and dreary river,
Flowing where the rustics shiver,
Where the breezes softly sigh,
Tell to me the song you're chanting
In the dreamy days of planting
Is it baby's lullaby?
Do you sing of sunny meadows
Where the snow-clouds trail their shadows,
Passing like a phantom throng?
Or to nestlings in the willows,
Rocking, swaying on the billows
Do you sing a cradle song?
Once beside my laughing water
And my wavelets onward sweeping
THE FOUNDING OF THE IOWA MISSION.
Hushed at last in balmy slumbers,
Where the wild flowers drink the dew,
Unlamented lie the red men
Once our rolling prairies knew.
Where the pawpaw trees, still growing,
Mellow Autumn, sadly lingering,
Love and hate can thrill no longer,
Yonder, by the trees half hidden,
Pathways old, with faded grasses,
Tell us of one now reposing,
Feeble though, and frail in body,
Then there were no home scenes happy
In the distant forest jungle
Flowers of brilliant hue in Spring-time
All hail, wondrous transformation!
All hail glorious coronation,
Rescued from earth's midnight shadows;
TO MY GREAT GRANDMOTHER.
I count it a love and in honored tie,
That fetters my youthful heart to thee,
Grandmother dear with the silvery hair
Sweet may life's closing twilight be.
Rosy and fair are the sunset hues;
The billows roll up from the years long fled,
'Tis the honest boast of a life well lived,
You say that your skies have a mournful cast,
The old sights sink in oblivion's sea;
Come there no sounds from balmier climes
WHO IS TO BLAME?
"Resistance to wrong is obedience to God."
"Am I my brother's keeper?" Still
Are to blame for childhood robbed
For manhood's treasure, sacred truth
Oh, may the nation's great heart go
My little one climbs on my knee to say,
In the coaxingest, cunningest kind of way,
"Please tell me a story, just one," and this
He says with a hug and a long, long kiss,
That he gives as the story teller's fee;
So what can I do but grant his plea?
Shall I tell the story of "Little Boy Blue"?
"O, somfin' pitty!" And I begin,
The story endsl there's a pause, and then
All at once the lids of my little one's eyes
O, sleep, baby, sleep, for the twilight is dying,
And over the clover bright dew drops are strewn,
While out of the west scented zephyrs are flying
To toss the lace curtain clouds over the moon.
The owl and the whippoorwill down by the river,
The fairy bell flowers o'er yonder are swinging
Now safe into dreamland go thou a drifting,
Mobel - dainty little maiden -
Sweet blonde of purest type;
Rose tinted cheeks, and pouting lips,
Like summer cherries ripe.
Deep blue eyes that sparkle fair,
A voice both soft and musical,
A fairy form, a gentle step,
And though our dear no princess is,
And more than this - than outer charms -
Transcribed from Gray's Doniphan County history: A record of the happenings of half a hundred years. By P. L. (Patrick Leopoldo) Gray. Bendena, Kan.: The Roycroft Press, 1905. 3p. l. -84, 166,  p. front., plates, ports. 24 cm.
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